Brian
Horton

I am a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology studying the circulations of gay rights and the neoliberal gay subject in the global south. I am interested in how changing patterns of social, political, cultural, and economic engagement in the global south create spaces for sexual minorities to become visible and legible collectivities. My work questions how and why labels like gay and homosexual are applied as categorical markers of identity and inhabitable identity formations in cultural contexts that place immense distinctions between homosexuality as sexual practice and homosexuality as a lifestyle. I intend to explore how these labels – and the ways in which individuals are afforded access to them – are also characterized by class, caste, race, gender, and national dynamics. My MA thesis project is focused on the relationship between LGBT activist groups and the nation state in Mumbai, India. By investigating how LGBT activist groups translate universalized discourses of human rights and gay rights into an Indian cultural context I will develop a deeper understanding of how activism is a form of state reform through reimagination as well as understand how LGBT groups push the boundaries of definitions of personhood, citizenship, and sexuality within a globalizing India. Prior to coming to Brown University I worked in Houston as a public school teacher through Teach for America, teaching 6th grade English to students who were recent immigrants and non-native speakers. I received my BA with highest honors from Texas Tech University in French, Geography, and Political Science in 2010.

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